Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has this afternoon released information detailing reasons why products sold in Australia carry higher price tags than their US equivalents. This comes after Current.com.au revealed this morning a $280 price difference between the retail prices of its new top-of-the-line OLED Walkmans.

As detailed in our earlier story, the recommended retail price of the new NWZ-X1060F Walkman is $799. The equivalent US model is currently on sale at Sony’s official online store for US$399. Based on current exchange rates, this equals AU$515. We asked Sony for an explanation of this price difference, and they have duly responded.

“There are various factors that impact on the ultimate recommended retail price of Sony products sold in Australia,” said a Sony spokesperson.

“These include, but are not limited to:

-Sony does not produce and freight the same product to all markets
-The Australian versions of products need to be adapted to comply with Australian standards and local regulations
-Australian marketing expenditure is amortised across a smaller number of products
-Retail environments differ from country to country
-Exchange rate considerations
-Other countries, including the US, do not include government taxes in their recommended retail prices.”

As evident by the use of the abstract noun “products”, this explanation refers not only to Sony’s latest Walkman releases, but also to other products in the range, including the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Sony has been accused by other media agencies of price gouging in the Australian market, however, factoring in the reasons offered today, it would appear, on face value at least, that any true price differences between Australian and US markets would be much smaller than previously reported.

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